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Sunday, 19 November 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Acqua Di Parma Holiday Gift Sets

The great thing about Autumnal birthdays is that one can take advantage of holiday gift sets that only appear in the shops at this time of year.  Monsieur had a birthday recently and I took the opportunity to pick up this gorgeous showstopper.

Monsieur does love his smellies and his number one favourite is Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza which strikes that magical balance between crisp citrus top notes and heady woody base notes.  Acqua di Parma don't release holiday sets of all their fragrances and, sadly, Acqua di Parma has not offered the gift set in Colonia Essenza for a couple of years now.  If Acqua di Parma is reading this, please bring that back next Christmas!   I had to settle for giving him the Colonia gift set instead (pictured above) which he deemed a close second with its notes of lavender, damask rose mingling with the citrus over a base of vetiver, sandalwood and patchouli.  I got it at Saks Fifth Avenue but it is also available at Holt Renfrew.  It is a great deal as the cologne bottle is the large 100 ml one and it comes with travel sizes of body creme and shower gel.  On its own, there is no doubt  that even the smallest 50 ml bottle will set you back a big chunk of coin so getting a large size and a couple of extras in a handsome presentation box helps ease the pain. 
Another Acqua di Parma holiday gift set is their Blu Mediterraneo.  This one has of orange, mandarin, and lemon essential oils over notes of petit grain, cardamon, caramel and musk.  This isn't one of Monsieur's 

favourites but fragrance is such a personal preference, you or someone you know might fall head over heels for it.
And we mustn't forget the ladies!  

They already had me with the packaging which is just so pretty.  This fragrance has Sicilian mandarin, Calabrian bergamot, and pepper, middle notes of peony, violet, lily of the valley, Italian centifolia rose, and finishes of cedar wood, ambergris and musk.
If like me, you have family members whose birthdays fall smartly right after Christmas, then you probably experience brain fry at the very thought of having to do more shopping.  And let's not forget that the dreaded Valentine's Day is just two months after Christmas.  Over the years, I have learnt to double up with my shopping especially if the gifts are unique items that disappear like snowflakes once the holidays are over.  And yes, of course, they make glorious Christmas gifts as well!

This is not a sponsored post.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

LBH October Favourites: Charlotte Tilbury Eyes To Mesmerise versus Nars Eye Paint, John Frieda Colour Deepening Treatment and Shampoo

October is done and dusted and, scary thought, we are marching steadily towards Christmas.  Around this time last year, I was thinking about holiday makeup and obsessing about Nars Eye Paint in Iskandar which is a lovely antique gold.  I noticed that my little pot was nearly out and was about to get another when I heard that Nars, sadly, was no longer cruelty-free.  This is a point of difference that may or may not matter to you but I thought that this was a good opportunity to stop in at the Charlotte Tilbury counter.  Charlotte Tilbury is, thankfully, cruelty-free.  I walked away with this.

Yessssss, a pot of Eyes to Mesmerise in Bette.  Charlotte Tilbury describes it as an amber gold and it does have more of a warm, bronze undertone to it compared to Nars' Iskandar which has more of an olive undertone.  Bette has a mousse-like, whipped, light as air texture to it which allows it to blend like a dream.   I have used it on top of eyeshadow powder and underneath without incident. 

Because it is waterproof, Iskandar has a stiffer consistency and once it is on, baby, it is there to stay.  This is fabulous if you are living in a tropical environment or dealing with a hot humid summer day but you have to work very quickly before it sets and it does crease and crack.  I did find using an eyeliner over Iskandar to be very difficult.  Bette is touted as long wear but not waterproof.  What I love about Bette is that it is so easy to apply and is highly pigmented with hardly any creasing. Basically, it is a "one and done" miracle in a pot.  The Nars pot has a fill of .08 oz and Charlotte Tilbury has a fill of .24 fl oz.  Both Charlotte Tilbury and Francois Nars are luxury brands so this type of comparison is, I think, a bit more of an even comparison than, say, comparing a luxury brand to a drugstore brand.  I think I will be investigating the Charlotte Tilbury line a lot more in the oh-not-so-distant-future.
Next up, is John Frieda's Colour Deepening Shampoo in Brilliant Brunette.  Because I have never dyed my hair before, this is my way of sticking a pinky toe in that pool.  I like that it is a shampoo so I don't really have to go out of my comfort zone or out of my daily routine to play with my hair colour.  

It is supposed to infuse rich, dark tones to natural brunette hair.  The effect is quite subtle.  I notice the change in tone more where the light hits my hair.  The shampoo came bundled with the Colour Deepening Treatment.  The treatment only takes 5 minutes (but is not recommended for gray or blonde hair).  I do love 2 for 1 deals, don't you?  Funnily enough, I found this on an end cap at my local grocery store.  I didn't see it at any of my local pharmacies.  I noticed that the shampoo also came in multi-tonal and blonde highlights formulas.  Have you tried John Frieda before?  If you are interested, keep an eye out for the 2 for 1 bundles as there were only a few left at my grocery store.

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 30 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Ralph Lauren Crawley Tote, J Crew Ankle Boots

Although I have always leaned towards black accessories as a wardrobe staple, in the last few years I have begun a love affair with caramel tones.  These luscious shades of tan can range from the lightest butterscotch to a deep caramel and their warm hues transition so well from the height of summer to the colder months. Sometimes, a bit of visual warmth instead of the moody severity of black is needed to offset the chill of a Canadian winter.  A late entry to my Autumn capsule wardrobe is this lovely little number from Ralph Lauren.

It is the Crawley tote and was a surprise gift from Monsieur.  I suspect it was an effort to placate to me when he arrived back from his impromptu solo vacation.  It is just the right size, not big and not too small and I know the leather will wear very well.  I really like the fact that it zips shut at the top.  I have the perfect pair of ankle boots to pair it with.

I got these gorgeous J Crew ankle boots a few years ago but seldom wear them due to the preponderance of black handbags in my collection.  I really love that the gold hardware on the tote pairs with the gold buckles on the boots.  Even though I got these boots a while back, J Crew tends to produce iterations of well known classics every season and their boots are no exception should you be inclined to check out their A/W lineup.  Bring on Autumn, I'm ready!

This is not a sponsored post.

Monday, 23 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: J Crew, LOreal Magic Roots Cover Up, Haagen Dazs Ice Cream

Bring on Autumn!  Having a capsule wardrobe, means that a change in season elicits enormous excitement at the prospect of changing over one's wardrobe.  With the addition of this cotton eyelet blouse from J Crew, my wardrobe for Autumn is just about set.

via jcrew.com

Even though it shows up as white in the catalogue, it is a dark cream in real life.  It has bell sleeves which are the sleeves of the season and it looks really nice with a bright cardigan thrown on top.  
I have never coloured my hair in my life but, lately, have been toying with the idea.  My hair stylist warned me that, if I go that route, I will be colouring my hair forever.  If any of you colour your hair, please chime in with your comments!  I picked up a can of L'Oreal Magic Root Cover Up in Dark Brown because I wanted to try out what it would be like to colour my hair without actually having to commit to it.

There is a thin straw coming out of the nozzle which you aim at your roots.  I don't have a huge swathe of grey roots showing so I sprayed it at my head in a somewhat haphazard manner.  The force of the spray took me by surprise.  For some reason, I expected a wet, inky jet to come squirting out and not a fine, powdery mist.  I think it takes a bit of practice as I had to rub in the excess with my fingers.  It is good for one shampoo so no worries if you mess up.
And lastly, what to do when Old Mate announces that he is going on vacation WITHOUT ME and only tells me 48 hours in advance?  This...

The horrid diet goes flying out the window, that's what happens.  By the way, the above ice cream tastes like a frozen pina colada which is not a bad thing in such circumstances.  The next thing that happened was a decluttering marathon of all his shiz that has been annoying me since, umm, forever. Pffttt.  Let's see if he is brave enough to dare complain when he gets back.  Adios until next time!

Monday, 9 October 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: Roots Canada Crossbody Bag, Integrated LED Track Light

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  One of the few cons of a capsule wardrobe is that items tend to wear out with greater frequency simply because they are on constant rotation.  I love a crossbody bag because it leaves my arms free and distributes the weight across my body.  Sadly, I noticed the straps on my old bag were getting really worn and it was looking the worse for wear.  So it was a great thrill to pick up this Roots bag this week.

It has so many outer and inner pockets.  I don't know about you but I love pockets.  It is made of woven suede instead of smooth leather so I don't have to worry about scuffs and scratches.  The "Peace" symbol embroidered onto the toggle adds a fun 60's hippie touch.  Monsieur was quite surprised when I brought it home as I have never really channeled the hippie look before but I was really taken with the quality and construction of the bag and the many, many pockets.  With the sudden onset of Autumnal temps, I have been fleshing out my Autumn capsule wardrobe and this bag came at just the right time.  If you want me to write a post about my capsule wardrobe and how I put mine together, let me know!
This weekend was Thanksgiving in Canada.  Now, you know when you have hit a rut in your relationship when you spend a long weekend at Home Depot contemplating the omnipresent DIY list...alone.  Monsieur was nowhere to be found.  A ceiling light fixture had stopped working a long time ago and I was determined to tick off my list.  With both of us dealing with health issues and one of us disabled, trying to replace burnt out ceiling light bulbs is akin to asking us to climb Mt. Everest.  I picked out an integrated LED track light.  

The wonderful thing about an integrated LED light fixture is that it never needs its light bulbs replaced!  It is Energy Star certified and should last 50,000 hours. So over the course of its lifetime, there should be significant savings in electricity consumption, not to mention light bulbs being prevented from going into landfill.  Monsieur did lend a helping hand with installing it and, reno rookies that we are, we lived to tell the tale.  I am sure if you had seen us wobbling back and forth trying to attach the wires, you wouldn't have known whether to laugh, cry or run far away.  
And that's it for this week.  Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers!

This is not a sponsored post.  

Sunday, 1 October 2017

LBH September Monthly Favourites: Le Creuset, Flawless By Friday Honey and Gold Lip Serum, L'Occitane Shea Butter

Time for another Monthly Favourites!  Fall seems to have crept in over night.  Wasn't it just last week that we were having an unexpected heat wave?  Autumnal temperatures always elicit a craving for warming soups and stews.  This is when my Le Creuset cast iron Dutch (in this case French) oven really takes center stage in the kitchen.

I love my white Le Creuset round French oven so, so much.  It may sound odd to say this of cookware but the snow white enamel just looks so pretty.  It comes in a variety to suit your family's needs such as a 5 1/2 quart, 7 1/4 quart, 9 quart and a 6 3/4 quart oval one.
Fall weather means that I have to have a lip balm in my purse and my bedside table at all times as I do tend to suffer from dry, flaky lips.  I have been trying out Flawless by Friday's Honey and Gold lip serum.

Flawless by Friday is a relatively young Canadian brand and has only come to my attention recently.  The lip serum is supposed to have plumping and anti-aging benefits.  I have quite full lips and don't have lip lines (yet) but it is always good to start on an anti-aging regimen.  The formula is not overly tacky or oily and has a lovely, light honey scent.  There is some sort of spring loaded mechanism in the tube because when I twist the cap to open it, it pops upward of its own volition which is childishly amusing to me.  There is a doe foot applicator for easy application.  Tiny gold flecks in the serum reads as a subtle glisten on the lips.  Now if only it had an SPF!
Ages ago, I used to buy small tins of L'Occitane shea butter which I applied on my lips as an overnight treatment.  I would even rub it on my nails to strengthen my weak and brittle nails.  I stopped using it as I am not a big fan of sticking my fingers into product.  However, I decided to return to it again after so many years away from it.

I also picked up a purse sized tube of that perennial favourite, 20% Shea Butter Hand Cream and a couple of soaps as well.
Are you looking forward to Fall?  Any seasonal changes in your routine?

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

LBH Weekly Roundup: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors, Aerolatte Milk Frother, Bialetti Moka Stovetop Espresso Percolator

Time for another Weekly Roundup!  You've heard me bang on about The Ordinary's Natural Moisturizing Factors.  I love the no nonsense moisturizing capabilities of it and I love its price even more.  However, I don't love the fact that I have to buy a new tube every few weeks.  At 1 fluid ounce, it just doesn't last for very long and it was constantly selling out at my local store so other customers were probably going through their tubes just as quickly.  At my last visit, it was a welcome surprise to see that a new larger 3.3 fluid ounce tube was being introduced.

It is only a couple of dollars more than the original smaller sized tube so it is still a great deal.  
This week I picked up a battery operated milk frother for Monsieur.

via Amazon

The Aerolatte Mooo comes in a cute black and white cowhide pattern although if the cuteness factor is too much for you it also comes in chrome, and black,  I got the travel version but it is also available with a stand in black here, and in blue here.  Now Monsieur can whip up some crema for his morning coffee.  Speaking of his morning coffee ritual, Monsieur uses the Bialetti 9 Cup Moka Stovetop Espresso Maker.

via Amazon
It is also available in a 6 cup size, a flashy 6 cup red, and a very Italian 6 cup tricolour.  The great thing about this brand is that you can get replacement parts for it like the handle, filter and gaskets and even the funnel.  When so many things these days are disposable and unrepairable, it is nice knowing that this simple appliance can be repaired.

This is not a sponsored post.  Some links are affiliate links.

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